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Covid-19 testing focus underpinning progress at Novacyt

Wed 24 February 2021 11:35 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Clinical diagnostics company Novacyt updated the market on the progress of its near-term research and development programmes on Wednesday, including the expansion of its product portfolio, clinical trial activity and the publication of independent validations of its Covid-19 tests.

The AIM-traded firm said that alongside its current focus of maximising the opportunity for Covid-19 testing, it was also building on its strategy for delivering a sustainable, long-term diagnostics business, adding that it would present those plans during the second quarter of 2021.

It said the expansion of its Covid-19 portfolio was intended to address the "rapidly evolving" diagnostics market, with the 'SNPsig' portfolio being expanded to detect new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including a specific variant prevalent in the United States.

The company also launched the CE-marked 'COVID-HT Direct', which it described as a next "generation" direct-to-PCR SARS-CoV-2 test for high-throughput laboratories.

Development of the Covid-19 antibody lateral flow test was ongoing, as was development of the loop-mediated isothermal amplification Covid-19 test.

The company was also developing an "innovative" assay panel for the detection of aspergillus, a respiratory fungal infection associated with co-infection risk in patients with Covid-19, and was continuing the development of a two-gene target 'PROmate' test to address markets employing that testing approach.

Novacyt said it was also supporting clinical research teams undertaking clinical trials in the global Covid-19 testing market, with Queen Mary University of London successfully completing the clinical trial of rapid testing in care homes using the company's rapid PCR system.

A variant diagnostic surveillance study was also initiated in the UK, the US, and Latin America.

The board said the company's Covid-19 portfolio was still being supported by independent validations and accreditations, noting that the Department of Health and Social Care's (DHSC) Technical Validation Group had reported the successful completion of the in-service validation of 'PROmate'.

AstraZeneca also reported the successful implementation of the saliva testing of staff using Novacyt's 'genesig' Covid-19 assay.

"Novacyt remains focused on leveraging its innovative reputation and position in the rapidly changing Covid-19 testing market to continue to deliver value and support clinicians and laboratories in a global setting," said chief executive officer Graham Mullis.

"Of note, following its launch, our PROmate test has been well received by users and opens up new opportunities for rapid PCR testing, including in private testing markets.

"In addition, we look forward to presenting exciting long-term plans for Novacyt during the second quarter of this year as we continue to define our strategy for delivering sustainable, long-term growth."

At 1119 GMT, shares in Novacyt were up 3.4% at 707.26p.

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